AZspot

blue bits. red rocks.

jesus dojo

When you see someone who claims to follow Jesus who has or wants power; when they are saying things about Christianity that cause hurt to other people, when they create divisions, stating beliefs or supporting policies that marginalize already marginalized groups, when they say things that would allow one group of people to exert their will and beliefs on another group of people, you need to immediately question their sincerity and more so their motivation. I Want My Christianity Back – Without the Ugly Baggage

Believing in inerrancy doesn’t make you a fool for Christ anymore than believing the world was flat contra Galileo made the Catholic church fools for Christ. Resisting injustice, sacrificing your life for others, showing solidarity with the oppressed, selling your goods and embracing poverty – these are the sorts of actions that make one a fool for Christ. Aric Clark

Defending the powerful, the visible, the ones with plenty of resources, is exactly the opposite of what God tells us to do. Defending the Powerful Is Not Our Mission

Anyone who lives a divinely filled life has no need for the ambiguous securities which possessions and property give him. So these things are there to be used by those who need them. Because they had ‘everything in common…there was not a needy person among them’. In this little Jerusalem congregation, which was probably made up of poor people, ‘there was enough for everyone’. Is that ‘early Christian communism’? Is it an unrealistic ideal? No, it is a new, realistic experience of God we can make together at any time and in every place. This other world is possible! It is a counter-image to all the societies with social inequality and want. In these societies ‘there is never enough for everyone’, so they are dominated by a struggle of each against all for the mans of living and the pleasures of living – to be more precise, by a struggle of the rich against the poor, of the strong against the weak, of the healthy against the sick, of the upper classes against the lower classes. The competitive struggles in the marketplace of modern society are explained in a social-Darwinian sense as being ‘the natural rights of the stronger’, but in actual fact they are driven by the fears of death and the greed for life. Where these rule, the result is a world of social frigidity, a dog-eats-dog society in which ‘everyone is his own best friend’. Moltmann

What started as a mindless way to waste a few hours became an increasingly troubling habit as the questions tumbled around in my head. I was doing the same thing that I accused gun enthusiasts of doing: I was blurring the line between necessary evil and hobby. I was participating in simulated killing for fun. Perhaps less blatantly but equally as problematic, I was entering into a narrative world that reduced the other to caricatured villains. And often the only practical explanation for why they must be killed was because they look different than me. In video games, humans are stripped of their humanity. They’re not made in the image of God, they are pixels on a screen. Why I Stopped Playing Violent Video Games

In the kingdom of God, where the cross sits like a jewel immovable from its setting in the incarnation, the ends can never justify the means. Even when we are forced into extreme measures in order to offer hope for the down trodden we can never allow the result to free us from the need to self reflect and analyse whether we may have crossed the line from defender to attacker. Alan Molineaux

Our relation to God is not a “religious” relationship to the highest, most powerful, and best Being imaginable—that is not authentic transcendence—but our relation to God is a new life in “existence for others,” through participation in the being of Jesus. The transcendental is not infinite and unattainable tasks, but the neighbor who is within reach in any given situation… Dietrich Bonhoeffer

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

Our world is connected today like it never has been before. We all contribute to the memes that circulate around our interconnected cyber-universe. These memes influence what people in very different circumstances are willing to do and not do to their enemies. Are we contributing to the epidemic of mockery and the glorification of violence in our world with what we share from our air-conditioned living rooms? If so, then the fact that we are privileged enough to have clean hands doesn’t make us any less guilty of the violence in our world than the suicide bombers and the drones. The failure of Christian witness in a world of violence

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

I’m not going to lecture Palestinians or Israelis on what they are and aren’t allowed to do to defend themselves. But I can try harder to stop failing to bear witness to the Christian value of nonviolence and loving our enemies. As a Christian whose sins are paid for by the blood of Jesus, I don’t have any reason to justify my own deeds based on what my enemies doing; I can simply take full responsibility for whatever blasphemy and idolatry I spew out into the world. My idolatry is the root of the world’s injustice, whatever it is, because all of our idols bleed together into a giant demonic global spiritual amoeba of greed, violence, and hate that makes people around the world blow each other up. The failure of Christian witness in a world of violence

If Jesus is relegated to the hyperspiritualized role of personal savior, then we are free to pledge our political allegiance to the latest incarnation of empire. This is why Christians from the days of Constantine onward have been so pliable in the hands of beasts. We should think deeply upon the fact that the Nazi blitzkriegs were waged by baptized soldiers. Had the church held to pre-Constantine convictions, Hitler would never have gotten off the ground. Before we appeal to Hitler as the ultimate argument against Christian nonviolence, we first have to ask how Hitler was able to amass a following of Christians in the first place. After all, it wasn’t atheists and pagans who formed the German Christian movement that lent support to Hitler in the 1930s. Brian Zahnd

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

Religions suffer with time. The faith that Jesus seems to have proclaimed had already altered by the time Paul put pen to parchment. Ask any Gnostic. Already, within just three decades, the question became “now what did he say again?” And what exactly did he mean? The core of that message seemed to be love above all else, but that doesn’t make for sexy doctrine. Exclusivity achieves what love could never accomplish. Wills explores how sacraments evolved, and how Scripture became a sword dividing believer from believer. His most sensible solution? Its time to get beyond priests. He doesn’t actually suggest doing away with them, but asks Catholics why they don’t consider closely the implications of their roots. Melchizedek takes on a stature greater than anyone seems to have imagined for an imaginary figure. And a lifelong believer here asks the most basic of questions: what is Christianity truly about? Order of Melchizedek

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

A GNT creation ©2007–2014